A Story of Faith and a Whole Lot of Family Fun

A Story of Faith and a Whole Lot of Family Fun

It was June, 2003 and I had an idea. At the time my husband and I ran a calligraphy business and I was also involved with marketing essential oils for aromatherapy. I recognized a niche in the marketplace for an affordable, wearable aromatherapy diffuser and I was thinking that we could make them.

Our daughter was sixteen and our son was fourteen as we approached the summer of 2003. Every summer they had summer jobs with us. Their summer jobs would be more interesting this year. This was the perfect opportunity for them to have the experience of being actively involved with the birth of a new business. Besides, we were going to need a lot of help.

You see, we knew Terra Cotta Pendants would be an online business but we knew nothing about building a web site. We had never worked with clay. We didn’t have a kiln. We hadn’t sourced cords and clasps or packaging. All we knew was essential oils were becoming very popular and there was nothing on the market like the pendant diffusers we intended to make.

We were planning to hire someone to create a small web site for us when Alex, our son, said I can do it. So he went to work. Natasha got some Play-Doh and experimented with rolling and cutting it on the kitchen table as I worked on the designs. By the end of June, Auguste had purchased and repaired a kiln he found for $50.00 at a yard sale and had developed a proprietary way to make our designs with the clay.  Alex, teaching himself as he went, built our first web site.  By mid July Terra Cotta Pendants was live!

Looking back, I’m amazed that we did it. We were so focused on what we wanted to create that we didn’t recognize the risks – we didn’t see all the things we didn’t know. We had to Google “how to run a kiln”! Was it an act of faith for us to start something like this or were we just crazy? I don’t know but I can tell you that it was a lot of fun!

Terra Cotta Pendants is still in business. 2003 was just the beginning. Even though the kids are away at university, they are involved with the family business in a meaningful way to this day. And yes, it’s still a lot of fun!

Have you ever taken a risk like that? Have you ever followed the little steps that lead you in the direction you wanted to go knowing full well that you didn’t have the knowledge to go all the way? What’s your story?

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About The Author


I am passionate about writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age, now available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. I never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?